Interactive notebooks are one of my favorite classroom must haves! I decided to call them Kinderactive Notebooks because my kinders are VERY capable of learning through interactive notebooks. If you’re a kindergarten teacher, you CAN use these in your room with ease.
I absolutely LOVE resources that my kids can use over and over again. Within the past two years, I began moving away from things that my students can only use once and they take it home and it’s never seen again. If they can use something two or more times I am thrilled. One time… eh. Not so thrilled. This is where interactive notebooks come into play. These notebooks are yearlong tools. Scratch that. These notebooks are lifelong tools for my students.
What’s up with interactive notebooks
Since interactive notebooks have so much information to take in, I’m breaking down the in’s and out’s into more than just one post. This is the first of a few. You can check out the next portion of this over on my blog. I’ll be putting up another part every few days.
Today, I want to tell you how to get started. By getting started, I want to help you think out all of the little things that need to be done beforehand to prepare you. We’re going to discuss the WHAT an interactive notebook is and HOW you can get started.
Just in case you’ve never heard of interactive notebooks, let’s start there.
For me, my notebooks collect our learning for the year. It is essentially our textbook of learning. We refer back to these over and over again throughout the year even if the skill isn’t being taught or practiced at the moment. These notebooks can either be strictly for one subject or you can combine subjects to make it into a book.
If you’re brand new to interactive notebooks, the first decision that you have to make is what type of interactive notebook you want to focus on. There are many types of interactive notebooks to choose from, but here are a few example.
Types of Interactive Notebooks
My advice to you is to choose ONE. That’s right. Choose one. If you’ve stepped your toes into the world of interactive notebooks before, feel free to add another one. Four years ago, I decided to try notebooking with my students. I wanted to try a reading and a math one. This was the year that I taught first grade. I had a new set of standards, new grade level, new ideas, new classroom. See what all is going on there?
I took it upon myself to make two HUGE new tasks. Reading and Math notebooks. I hadn’t gotten down the management part of keeping up with notebooks and soon both of them went to the wasteside because I couldn’t keep up with them. I was under the impression that my students needed to do something every single day in them. WRONG!
This is why I give the advice to choose ONE type of notebook to do this entire year if it is your first time. There are MANY “teacher choices” that have to be perfected after you begin using them in your class. Are you ready to take notes? Here’s how you’re going to get started and excel with that one chosen notebook this year.
Choose your type of notebook? I’ll give you second to think about it… What’s your favorite subject to teach? Choose that one. If you like that subject a lot, you’ll be more likely to keep up with your notebook.
How to make it work?
Now that you know what you’re going to work with. Let me tell you HOW it works in my classroom for me.
We used science notebooks ALL the time last year. I also had math interactive notebooks. We dibbled and dabbled in some reading areas, but not much. The reading area was more about me finding out what I did and did not like. I was able to do this because I’ve already gotten down the basic of notebooking in my classroom from years of practicing.
Fine motor practice while they learn
Create your own notebook
The last thing that you need to think about BEFORE you actually get started is how will your students refer back to these pages AFTER they’ve finished? I will say that every page will not be useful to refer back to. However, a large majority of what you do in the notebooks will be. I like to see their notebooks as their little kindergarten textbooks. They are making science, math, reading, and any other kind of books as you add new content.
Ready to try out notebooks?
Thanks so much for checking out this post! Here’s a very small freebie to get you started with some editable science notebook covers.
The next post discusses all of the supplies you’ll need to get start. Find it here.